IAEA mission arrives at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
From CNN’s Uliana Pavlova and Sarah Dean
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission has arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom has confirmed in a statement on Telegram.
The IAEA also confirmed the arrival on Twitter.
“IAEA's Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhia (ISAMZ) led by Director General Rafael Grossi has just arrived at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to conduct indispensable nuclear safety and security and safeguards activities,” the agency said in a tweet.
7:55 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
European officials to discuss energy price cap amid skyrocketing costs
From CNN’s Duarte Mendonca
The European Commission is currently considering options to cap energy prices and reduce electricity demand, as part of a strategy to deal with the steep rise in energy costs partly caused by fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"There’s a crisis now. I think we are all extremely aware and the energy prices both gas and electricity bills are high as we’ve never seen before," said Mechthild Wörsdörfer, deputy director general of the commission's energy department, on Thursday.
"There’s speculation, there’s uncertainty in the market and that’s why we are looking even more intensively right now what else needs to be done."
Prices have jumped since Russia's Gazprom announced that it would shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline for three days starting Wednesday to perform maintenance work, reigniting fears that Moscow could completely shut off gas to Europe.
Europe is desperate tosecure gas supplies that can't be cut off at Moscow's whim after the Kremlin signaled its willingness to punish the bloc for its support of Ukraine.
"There is work on emergency measures on electricity prices. There might be also something on demand reduction for electricity," Wörsdörfer said during a European Parliament energy committee meeting on winter preparedness.
Wörsdörfer added that the European Commission is looking in the "medium to long term" to change their electricity market design, adding it "takes time."
According to Wörsdörfer, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to outline the commission’s plan to tackle energy prices on September 14.
Energy ministers of the European Union member states are scheduled to gather on September 9 in Brussels for an emergency meeting.
6:58 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
Putin will not attend the funeral of former Soviet leader Gorbachev
From CNN's Anna Chernova
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the funeral of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev this Saturday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.
"Putin's work schedule will not allow him to take part in the farewell ceremony for Gorbachev on September 3," Peskov said, adding that the Russian President visited the Central Clinical Hospital today to pay his respects to Gorbachev, laying flowers on the coffin.
A farewell ceremony for Gorbachev, which will be open to the public, is due to take place on Saturday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. local time (3 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET), followed by the funeral later on the same day at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.
Peskov said on Thursday that "there will be elements of a state funeral."
"There will be a guard of honor, and a farewell ceremony will be organized. The state will assist in the organization," said Peskov, without providing an explanation as to how this would differ from ordinary state funerals.
7:27 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
Head of Russian oil giant Lukoil dies after falling from hospital window, reports state media
From CNN's Anna Chernova, Fred Pleitgen and Chris Liakos
The chairman of Russian oil and gas giant Lukoil — which spoke out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine — has died after falling out of a hospital window, state news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS reported Thursday.
Ravil Maganov died at the Central Clinical Hospital west of Moscow, according to the reports, which cite the hospital and law enforcement sources.
"The incident occurred around 07:00 am Moscow time in the Central Clinical Hospital ... The man fell out of the sixth-floor window and died as a result of his injuries," a source told TASS.
Lukoil confirmed Maganov’s death in a statement published on its website, saying only that the executive died "following a severe illness" and making no mention of a fall.
"We deeply regret to announce that Ravil Maganov, Chairman of PJSC LUKOIL Board of Directors, passed away following a severe illness," the statement read. "Ravil Maganov immensely contributed to the development of not only the Company, but of the entire Russian oil and gas sector."
Russia's second largest oil company made headlines in early March after speaking out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"The Board of Directors of LUKOIL expresses herewith its deepest concerns about the tragic events in Ukraine. Calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict, we express our sincere empathy for all victims, who are affected by this tragedy," reads a statement from the board of directors to shareholders, staff and customers published March 3.
"We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy,” added the statement.
Lukoil produces more than 2% of the world's crude oil and employs more than 100,000 people.
RIA Novosti quoted a law enforcement source who said the businessman "most likely committed suicide."
"Yes, we can confirm the fact [of death]. Investigating authorities are working on the spot to establish the causes of the incident," the source said, according to RIA.
At least five prominent Russian businessmen have reportedly died by suicide since late January, according to previous CNN reporting.
5:46 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
Shelling "has not stopped since 5 a.m." in Enerhodar, city mayor tells CNN
From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Hannah Ritchie
Shelling in Enerhodar, near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, has "not stopped since 5 a.m.," city mayor Dmytro Orlov told CNN Thursday.
"There are casualties among civilians. This is probably the most difficult day in the entire history of the occupation of the city," he said.
Russian-appointed regional officials also reported shelling across Enerhodar Thursday, claiming there had been "at least three" civilian casualties and five injuries, including a child.
CNN has not been able to independently verify claims from either side.
The reports come as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) make their way to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to carry out a planned inspection of the facility, which has been held by Russian forces since March.
In a series of statements, Russian and Ukrainian officials accused each other of shelling the IAEA’s prearranged route to the Zaporizhzhia plant.
IAEA spokesperson Fredrik Dahl said the inspectors had been "delayed" for three hours on the Ukrainian-controlled side of the front line en route to the nuclear facility, prompting IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to personally negotiate with Ukrainian military authorities to allow the team to proceed.
In a statement Thursday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said it would provide the IAEA’s inspectors "full security for further work" upon their arrival at the plant.
5:26 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
IAEA mission delayed en route to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, says spokesman
From CNN’s Kim Norgaard in Kyiv
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission has been delayed on the Ukrainian-controlled side of the front line for about three hours en route to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), and IAEA spokesman has said.
"Director general Grossi has personally negotiated with Ukrainian military authorities to be able to proceed and he remains determined that this important mission reaches the ZNPP today," Fredrik Dahl told CNN on Thursday.
Setting off for the plant from Zaporizhzhia city earlier Thursday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said the mission would persevere despite the "inherent risks" his monitoring team would face.
4:54 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
It's "time to stop playing with fire" at Zaporizhzhia, warns ICRC chief
From CNN's Oleksandra Ochman and Sarah Dean
It is "high time to stop playing with fire" around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in Kyiv, ICRC director-general Robert Mardini urged "concrete measures" be taken "to protect this facility and others like it from any military operations."
"The slightest miscalculation could trigger devastations that we will regret for decades," he warned.
"When hazardous sites become battlegrounds, the consequences for millions of people and the environment can be catastrophic and last many years," he said.
"In the event of a nuclear leak, it will be difficult if not impossible to provide humanitarian assistance."
4:29 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
Ukrainian official accuses Russian forces of trying to disrupt nuclear plant inspection
From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Kyiv, Ukraine
A Ukrainian presidential adviser on Thursday accused Russian forces of trying to disrupt the visit of UN nuclear inspectors to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by shelling the nearby city of Enerhodar.
"The Russians shelled Enerhodar and the territory of the ZNPP," said Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. "They want to disrupt the visit of the IAEA mission. These are the actions of a terrorist state, which is afraid that the world will learn the truth."
Shelling has been ongoing in Enerhodar since Thursday morning, according to Ukrainian and Russian-installed regional officials as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) traveled to the plant for a planned inspection of the facility in southeastern Ukraine, which has been held by Russian forces since March.
"It is Russia that is responsible for everything that happens at the ZNPP and Enerhodar. Criminals must be stopped," Yermak said.
Some context: CNN has not been able to independently verify claims from either side about the shelling near the facility. CNN reached out to the IAEA regarding any obstacles or security issues on its prearranged route to the plant but has not received a response.
Setting off for the plant from Zaporizhzhia city earlier Thursday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said the mission would persevere despite the "inherent risks" his monitoring team would face.
4:10 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
Shelling in city near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as UN watchdog travels for inspection
From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Hannah Ritchie
Shelling in the city of Enerhodar near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power has been ongoing since Thursday morning, according to Ukrainian and Russian-installed regional officials.
"Since 5 a.m. [local time], constant mortar shelling has not stopped," Enerhodar’s Mayor Dmytro Orlov said in a Telegram post, adding that "helicopters" had been circling over the city. "One can hear automatic weapons. It is known that several civilian facilities were hit. There are victims! We are clarifying how many."
The Russian-appointed military-civilian administration of Enerhodar also claimed there had been "at least three" civilian casualties and five injuries, including a child.
CNN has not been able to independently verify claims from either side.
Inspectors on the way: The reports come as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) traveled to the nuclear plant for a planned inspection of the facility in southeastern Ukraine, which has been held by Russian forces since March.
In a separate report, the head of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia regional military administration Oleksandr Starukh accused Russian forces of “shelling the pre-agreed route of the IAEA mission from Zaporizhzhia to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”
CNN reached out to the IAEA regarding any obstacles or security issues on its prearranged route to the plant but has not received a response.
Setting off from Zaporizhzhia city earlier Thursday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi acknowledged the “inherent risks” his monitoring team would face after leaving the “gray zone” where the last line of Ukrainian defenses end but said the mission would persevere.